Preparing Materials for Scanning

We ask all partners to help with the following steps before delivering materials for digitization.

Talk to Us

While we do not require any formal paperwork ahead of time, we do ask all partners to get in touch to talk through the materials they’d like to bring and their goals and timelines. We will schedule a dropoff time, or let you know about a shipping address and when we can fit your materials into the queue.

Assess the Physical Condition of the Materials

We are trained in handling rare and fragile materials and the equipment used by the Center is designed to place as little physical strain on the materials as possible. However, some basic handling is necessary. We won’t digitize any materials if we judge there is a good possibility they will be harmed in the digitization process.

We ask our partners to do the following:

  • Remove staples.
    When pages are stapled together, it is difficult to get a complete image of each page, and staples can also make it easier for pages to tear. Using paperclips (especially acid free vinyl-coated paperclips) is fine.
  • Make sure all pages lay flat.
    If your institution is having paper materials digitized, please make sure that all pages can be opened all the way without tearing.
  • Secure loose materials.
    For example, if you’re including a scrapbook that has photos or clippings attached, please make sure that all loose (or nearly loose) materials are secured to the appropriate page.

Prepare an Inventory

Please send along a list of each item or group of items to be digitized; an electronic version is very helpful! This should just be enough to identify each item or group of items. If you are providing additional metadata, then please send that along electronically before or shortly after we receive the materials.

Box Up and Deliver or Ship Materials

We ask all partners to deliver their materials boxed or contained in some sturdy way for storage in our secure stacks. If delivering materials, we will provide you with a parking pass and directions to the Wilson Special Collections Library Loading Dock. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Updated February 2023